FOREGROUND MUSIC: A LIFE IN FIFTEEN GIGS by Graham Duff
194 x 137mm, 364 pages, Offset printed, Perfect bound, 2019
Foreground Music is the result of a lifetime’s passion for gig-going by one of British television’s most individual writers. From a Cliff Richard gospel concert at the age of 10, to his first rock show aged 14, where The Jam play so loudly he blacks out, to a Joy Division gig which erupts into a full-scale riot.
Vivid, insightful and very funny, each chapter covers a different gig, including Primal Scream headlining Glastonbury at the height of Screamadelica, and the troubled reformation of The Velvet Underground. Taking in the first UK headline gig by The Strokes in a room above a pub, and the final arena tour by David Bowie.
Along the way Duff experiences pub-crawls with Mark E. Smith of The Fall, convinces Paul Weller to undertake his first acting role and attempts to interview Genesis P. Orridge of Throbbing Gristle whilst tripping on LSD.
Foreground Music captures the power of life-changing gigs, whilst tracing the evolution of 40 years of musical movements and subcultures. But more than that, it’s an honest, touching and witty story of friendship, love, creativity and mortality, and a testimony to music’s ability to inspire and heal.